India are in huge trouble at Chepauk as Joe Root led England continue to dominate the ongoing first Test. Having posted a humongous first innings total of 578, the visitors were right on the money with the ball too from the get-go. India were never able to set their foot in the game as Jofra Archer removed both the openers early during a fiery spell with the new ball.
The onus was once again on Cheteshwar Pujara and captain Virat Kohli to plug the hole in the ship. And it was smooth sailing for a while before Kohli was caught at short leg off Dom Bess. The skipper was found fending at a ball away from his body and was dismissed by a spinner first time at home since 2017.
Following the skipper’s wicket, his deputy Ajinkya Rahane walked in. Much was expected from him but he too failed to get going as he fell prey to Bess. It was a stunner by Joe Root which sent him packing. Rahane stepped out to drive uppishly and Root, stationed at covers, took a sensational catch diving at full stretch to his left.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant steady the ship
Yet again in three Test matches, the onus of arresting the slide landed on the duo of Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant. And the pair with opposite styles was up to the task yet again. Pujara and Pant stitched a century stand to rescue India from 73 for 4. While Pujara, as usual, played the anchor, Pant went about attacking the opposition.
Both the batsmen brought up their half-centuries in quick succession as they continued to work their way through after tea. Unfortunately, both the batsmen fell before reaching the three-figure mark. Pujara was dismissed by Bess at 73 while Pant, who yet again missed a well deserved ton, fell for 91 off 88 balls.
On the other hand, Root, who is playing his 100th Test, is yet to make a wrong move. Having scored a double century in the first innings, his second in three matches, Root has made the right bowling changes and field placements. And now has capped it off with a spectacular catch.